Effingham County Middle School will have a new principal in the fall.
After five years at South Effingham High School, Rob Porterfield, the current SEHS athletic director and an assistant principal, will be taking over at ECMS.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the faculty,” he said. “(I’m) looking forward to setting some goals for our school, and collectively working with the faculty to try to achieve those goals. (We have) a big challenge ahead of us, and I’m really looking forward to this challenge.”
Porterfield said he has been in education for 25 years, the last 10 in Effingham County. He spent the first five years at Effingham County High School.
“I just thought it was time for me personally to attempt to become a principal,” Porterfield said in regards to the move. “I’ve got a number of years in and I felt like I was ready, so I applied.”
Porterfield said it was the school system that brought his family to Effingham County.
“The school system is what attracted my wife and I to this community,” he said. “Good standards, good discipline, quality education. Those were the things we were looking for as a family as to where we wanted to settle and be. We are very much a part of the community and we very much enjoy living here.”
His daughter attended ECMS and ECHS and his son Martin is currently a student at SEMS.
Porterfield said he will miss the faculty and students at SEHS.
“(I will miss) my relationship with coaches, my relationship with the players and also my relationship with the students being with them on a daily basis That’s the part I enjoy the most is just working hard with those people,” he said.
“People at South Effingham have been wonderful,” he said. “Our coaching staff we feel like things have improved and gotten better and that’s partly due to the hard work of the coaches and the players, but it’s also due to the hard work of some of our supporters, but it has just been a collective effort.”
He said he taught middle school his first year as a teacher, but has worked with high school students for 24 years.
“I’ve had two children now that have come through that age, and Martin is in the eighth grade right now, so it’s kind of fresh on my mind how he’s different from the high school kids,” Porterfield said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a real issue at all. I think I’ll enjoy that age group of children.”
“I understand that it’s not going to be an easy thing,” he said. “There’s some improvement that needs to be made just like there’s some improvement that needs to be made at every school, so we’re just going to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and work well with the faculty there and try to accomplish some goals that we’re going to set.”